Dec ’21 – Feb ’22

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Issue: Vol. 21 No. 1


From the Director of Editorial Content

It Is All About the Digital World

Increasingly, our purchases are digital, whether via card or other types of electronic transactions utilizing fiat or cryptocurrencies. Of course, drug dealers and other criminals are still bundling bills into suitcases or shrink-wrapping them into blocks to move illicit funds into the financial system, but digital assets are a growing component in money laundering schemes and the inspiration for new types of crime.

From the Editor

Stick With It

Everything is virtual these days. As a result, I started a virtual fitness program that incentivizes you with achievements for accomplishing your health goals. My Apple Watch has become my constant companion and it reminds me to keep moving to achieve my fitness goal. Fortunately, I reached one of my goals and received a nice medal in the mail with an inspiring quote that read, “Be like a postage stamp, stick with it until you get there.”

Inside this Edition

Unintended Consequences of COVID-19

Altruistic efforts were rampant during the pandemic, from economic stimulus and relief conversations at the forefront of every Capitol Hill agenda to private sectors speedily attempting to address the economic struggles of vulnerable populations across the country. However, the result of best-laid plans is often the catalyst of unintended consequences, and financial institutions (FIs) are no exception to exploitation.

Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade: Turning Predators Into Prey

Global wildlife populations face grave threats from many factors, including climate change, deforestation and pollution, while consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products accelerates the speed with which many species move toward extinction. One additional threat that is sometimes overlooked is the proceeds generated from the illegal wildlife trade (IWT), which frequently involves criminal groups that operate with impunity.

When Crowdfunding Goes Wrong

Raising funds from supporters has always been one of the core financing methodologies of terrorists and violent extremists. Both large-scale donations, as well as smaller sums collected from many individuals, are core income streams.1 This regularly involves the misuse of the charitable sector, including through the establishment of front structures that presented themselves as charitable organizations while raising terrorist funds.